Federal Drive Show Blog – August 26, 2013

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.

Today’s Interviews:

Steve Bauer
Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund

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The Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund has handed out so many loans to furloughed federal employees, it says it is running out of money. FEEA has never seen such high demand for its small, emergency loans. Director Steve Bauer has more.

Matthew Hummer
Bloomberg Government

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Before there were highways, canals dominated inland transportation in the new United States. Inland waterways remain important economically. But maintaining them is getting expensive and the federal Waterway Trust Fund is running out of money. One answer: Privatization. Bloomberg Analyst Matthew Hummer has made a comprehensive study of this problem.

Andrew Liebhold
Research Entomologist
USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station

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First it was Dutch Elm disease. Now an unwelcome visitor know as the Ash Borer has killed tens of millions of ash trees in the Midwest and Northeastern sections of the country. The beetle, which hails from Asia, has no predators in North America. Until now. Andrew Liebhold is a research entomologist with the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station in Morgantown, W.Va.

Ron Sanders
Tackling Wicked Government Problems

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Helping residents recover from Superstorm Sandy, or improving access to health care, or helping troops transition to civilian life: These issues force agencies to ask for help from each other or outsiders. Ron Sanders is co-editor of “Tackling Wicked Government Problems: A Practical Guide for Developing Enterprise Leaders.” It’s a compilation of strategies for dealing with these types of issues. Sanders says wicked problems are becoming the new normal in government.

Dr. Terrance Walters
ID Technology Program Coordinator
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

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Agriculture Department managers are concerned about potential loss of knowledge. Large numbers of scientists are approaching retirement age. At the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the issue is the ability to identify insect pests. APHIS has launched an online bug ID tool to help new employees, or anyone for that matter. Dr. Terrance Walters is the ID Technology Program Coordinator at APHIS. He explains how the agency is helping.

Heard Tom and Emily talk about another story during the show, but don’t see it here? Check out our daily federal headlines for the latest news affecting the federal community.